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Public health: Don Quixote vs the wind turbines

George Papadopoulos

1540 Cooks Hill Road
Yass NSW 2582

Open letter to: Jillian Skinner MP, NSW Minister for Health; Brad
Hazzard MP, NSW Planning Minister.

Cc: Alby Schultz, Federal MP for Hume; Ms Katrina Hodgkinson, NSW MP for
Burrinjuck; Local Media

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

RE: Victims of the Crookwell 1 Trial Wind Turbine site

Dear Ministers,

I am a trained and registered, practising health professional

Yesterday, I met two elderly ladies from the Crookwell region who have
been for years quietly suffering the effects of what has been described as
Wind Turbine Syndrome.

These ladies have been quietly suffering for years. Their local
medical practitioners are unable to do much beyond prescribe antidepressants,
sleeping tablets and other medication, or recommend that they move.
There is a lack of "published peer reviewed evidence" that these health problems
exist, as the NH&MRC's Rapid Review report pointed out. But that does NOT
mean there is no health problem, which is what the wind developers and
many individuals in government have been wrongly inferring or assuming from
the NH&MRC's report. They have ignored the NH&MRC's advice to "adopt a
precautionary approach".

I asked one of these ladies why she hasn't taken the matter further -
why she isn't discussing the matter with the locals. Well, surprisingly, the
locals have ostracised her for making comments that might affect the
tourist business in Crookwell. So she decided to shut up and suffer or otherwise
become a social outcast.

So who is listening to these quiet victims of this "innovative" original
NSW wind turbine trial? Why is it that the suffering of these quiet victims
has not affected the planning process of newer wind turbine developments?
Strange isn't it? What was the point of this trial site?

I then decided with two companions to pay my own visit to the local
trial industrial wind turbine site - situated amongst rural blocks. I have
neverbeen so close to a wind turbine site before. In fact so close, within
250 metres, thanks to a third victim of this development who allowed us to
access their property. This third victim also needs sleeping pills to
sleep and is unduly chronically ill due to wind turbine syndrome.

Well our experience was absolutely stunning! Almost immediately,
pressure sensations in the head abruptly started - plus blocked ears that could
not be relieved by swallowing or yawning. We couldn't hear any loud
deafening noises, but the constant whooshing noise was phenomenal - enough to
drive you mad. We were ultimately compelled to leave the site due to severe
nausea in all three of us. Perhaps it wasn't a good idea to get so close to the
turbines. Eventually it was only at 5km away that we finally felt totally
relieved and normal - we had finally escaped this whirlpool of disaster.

My dear politician, I am not having a joke. This is no good story. It is
a very sad reality of what is happening here in Australia, in our
meant-to-be progressive, clean democracy where the rights of the individual should
be upheld against the little, if any, good that can be found in these

Why are our planning departments ineffective in drafting policies to
protect public health? Why aren't our health departments effective in monitoring
the health of individuals surrounding these industrial power sites? Why are
the local medical practitioners and other local health professionals so slow
in protecting these most sweet, kind hearted elderly souls? The reason is,
despite these problems being reported globally no government has listened
to its citizens and ensured that appropriate independent acoustic and
medical research is commissioned and funded, to help find out why these problems
are occurring and how to prevent them. Or in plain terms, research which
will determine the safe distance between turbines and homes and workplaces.
If this was a drug, these experiences would be reported as "Adverse Events"
and the drug would be withdrawn, pending further investigation until its
safety from unanticipated side effects could be guaranteed. The equivalent in
this situation is to immediately instigate a moratorium where turbines are
close to homes, and fully investigate these occurrences.

It's time to do something about it. The recent Federal Senate Inquiry
has heard many stories such as the one above, in both written and oral
testimony. I hope you feel compelled as a publicly elected official in a
democratic country to do something about this great injustice - and stop
it from happening again and again in different sites around NSW, and the
rest of Australia.

Yours sincerely,
George Papadopoulos

Please write to George if your community is affected

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